Recently, I was thinking. What a surprise… Anyway, you know how in English, they teach you about different ways to categorize characters? They can be round or flat, static or dynamic (I don’t really know how to make that sentence look right grammatically; it either ends up with too many coordinating conjunctions or too many commas. Sorry if it’s weird). But yeah, I was thinking about round characters vs. flat characters. Round characters are considered complex; you can generally use more than 2 or 3 adjectives to describe their personality. Conversely, flat characters are considered simple, with only a very small collection of adjectives to describe them.
And the thought crossed my mind, Is anybody truly flat, or is it just perception that makes them flat? You have to admit, it’s a pretty legitimate question. At least half of the characters that we give the “Flat” Label to probably aren’t actually flat. I mean, there are shallow people, but surely they have complexities to them. And when it comes to writing, characterization is completely in the hands of the writer. And if their narrator doesn’t like another character, that character may come across as simple and boring when in reality, they aren’t.
And what if we do that to other people? We’ve been taught that first impressions are often wrong, but that first impression stays with us, at least on a subconscious level. And we make judgments about people before we truly understand them. Voila! Flat people! Or, should I say, falsely labeled flat people who are actually more complicated. But that was too long; it would have detracted from the point.
So, are there not any truly flat people in the world? I don’t think there are. Then again, I tend to be hope for the best, especially when it comes to people. That’s ‘cause I’m an INFJ. Ooh, personality types! Now that’s an interesting piece to consider when it comes to flatness vs. roundness. I’m actually a little obsessed with personality types, even though I know they don’t truly define people. But it’s interesting, because most people fit into at least one personality type, but everybody has their own experiences and emotions that make them a little different.
We’ve all heard that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. But the truth of the matter is, the eye of the beholder has a lot more power.
Have a wonderful afternoon,